Spain

Emergency contraception (EC) is available in Spain: LNG EC, UPA EC, and the use of IUD for EC are included in national policies for family planning; local pharmacies and family planning clinics distribute EC. LNG and UPA EC are included in drug reimbursement policies of some regions of the country.

Sexual & reproductive health background information

Female population aged 15-49 Mean age at first sexual intercourse Mean age at birth of first child Total fertility rate % use of modern contraceptive methods
Estimate 11,351,0001 17.52 29.83 1.354 62.3%5
Year 2010 2005 2010 2011 2006

Accessibility & prescription status

In Spain, LNG EC is available behind the counter from pharmacies, which means that EC is available without a prescription but is not on the shelves and needs to be requested in order to purchase. Since April 2015 UPA EC can also be purchased without a prescription from pharmacies.

Physicians are the sole health care professionals who are authorized to prescribe EC.

Cost

Type of EC Approximate Cost Brand(s) Available
LNG € 19 NorLevo, Postinor
LNG € 17 Generic (TEVA)
LNG € 15 Generic (Mylan)
UPA € 25 ellaOne

In some regions of the country, the cost of EC is partially or fully reimbursed to the patient when it is sold with a prescription in the pharmacy. It is also free to the user when it is accessed in the public sector.

Guidelines & common practices

Guía actualizada de Anticoncepción de Urgencia, first published in 2008 and then updated in 2011 by the Spanish Society of Contraception (Sociedad Española de Contracepción), was the only guide in Spain exclusively devoted to EC, and included recommendations on LNG and UPA EC pills as well as on the use of the cooper IUD for EC.

In 2015 the Spanish Society of Contraception published Anticoncepción de Urgencia. Guía para la provisión de servicios en Europa, which provides updated recommendations for the same methods.  

Health care providers sometimes provide general information about EC during regular consultations but rarely prescribe EC in advance of need. Directions regarding EC use are usually given when EC is accessed from a public medical facility, whereas no specific recommendations are given when it is accessed from a pharmacy. Health care providers also do not require a pregnancy test or a pelvic exam before prescribing EC.

EC use

Ever use of EC EC use in the last 12 months % with no prescription Repeated use of EC in last 12 months
Estimate 14.7%6 3.5%6 47.3%6 0.42%7
Year 2013 2013 2013 2011

 

Sources

1 United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision. New York, 2011.

2 Durex Global Sex Survey Results 2005. Retrieved 20 June 2013, from http://www.durex.com/en-jp/sexualwellbeingsurvey/documents/gss2005result.pdf.

3 United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Statistical Division Database. Mean Age of Women at Birth of First Child by Country and Year. Updated 23 November 2012. Retrieved 19 June 2013, from http://w3.unece.org/pxweb/dialog/varval.asp?ma=04_GEFHAge1stChild_r&path=../database/STAT/30-GE/02-Families_households/&lang=1&ti=Mean+age+of+women+at+birth+of+first+child.

4 European health for all database (HFA-DB), World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe. Total fertility rate. Retrieved 18 June 2013, from http://data.euro.who.int/hfadb/.

5 United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division. World Contraceptive Use 2012. New York, 2012.

Sociedad Española de Contracepción. ESTUDIO POBLACIONAL SOBRE USO Y OPINIÓN DE LA PÍLDORA POSTCOITAL 2013. Retrieved 20 September 2015, from http://sec.es/descargas/ENC_2013_pildorapostcoital.pdf

7 Sociedad Española de Contracepción. Estudio poblacional nacional sobre uso y opinión de la píldora de urgencia 2011. Retrieved 20 September 2015, from http://sec.es/area-cientifica/observatorio/documentos-observatorio/estudio-poblacional-por-comunidades/

Last update: September 2015